Lane Kiffin knows there is no discounting a two-loss Alabama team
OXFORD, Miss. – The bye week has come and gone for Lane Kiffin’s Ole Miss team, and the rest week could not have come at a better time. The Rebels face a two-loss Alabama team this weekend, and Kiffin, having coached under Nick Saban, knows exactly what is coming to Oxford.
“Extremely challenging opponent,” Kiffin said about Alabama at his weekly press conference.
“Now we have the combination of elite players with elite coaching. This is the best of the best. You’re going to go play the best offensive player [QB Bryce Young] in the country and the best defensive player [LB Will Anderson Jr.] in the country. Very challenging situation.”
Lane Kiffin on Alabama
While the Rebels were resting, Alabama’s dreams of a College Football Playoff appearance went to die in an overtime loss at LSU Saturday. Even though the Crimson Tide may be down and out of that discussion after two losses this season, Kiffin is not buying the downward talk.
“Alabama makes the field goal at Tennessee and the two-point gets stopped [at LSU], then they’re the No. 1 [or] No. 2 team in the country coming in here,” Kiffin said.
“So, we’re talking about two plays and two teams on the road in two of the hardest environments to play in. This is a great team and the best coach to ever do it.“
Lane Kiffin on a talented Bama team
Alabama has not lost consecutive games since the “Kick-Six” loss to Auburn and the subsequent Sugar Bowl during the 2013 season. They have not lost back-to back regular season games since Saban’s first year at Alabama in 2007. Kiffin said that he learned a lot during his time at Alabama about how Saban coaches his teams after a loss.
“Well, there weren’t many of them,” Kiffin said. “There were only three [and] only two regular-season in three years, both to Ole Miss. I thought he was phenomenal. They are always ready to play. They always rebound over the years.”
Even with the high stakes that this Alabama game poses for the Rebels, including staying in contention for the SEC West crown, Kiffin made sure his team understood its own need to get better.
“We don’t sit and talk about Bama week that everyone else in the country seems to do. We’ve got a lot of things to work on to get better. It really doesn’t matter. It matters that you do things really well. That’s how you win games.”
Kiffin also explained that his team’s depth may not stack up well with Alabama’s depth, especially with the injuries that the Rebels are still dealing with. Depth will prove to be a big challenge this weekend.
“I’ve said all along, this is our best roster of the three years with collection of talent,” Kiffin said. “But it does not mean it will be the best team. We’re still coming together.”
The Rebels look to keep their home winning streak alive and beat the Alabama Crimson Tide in Oxford for the first time since the famed 2014 game. Kickoff this Saturday is set for 2:30 p.m. at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, and the game will be aired on CBS.
(Feature image credit: Josh McCoy, Ole Miss)
Trevor is a senior at Ole Miss pursuing a degree in Journalism with an emphasis in Sports Communication and Promotion. He has previous experience covering sports for another site, including a variety of Ole Miss sports. Growing up in New Orleans, La., he has the Pelicans and Saints running through his blood. He also grew up in an LSU family, but his love for Ole Miss continues to grow. Trevor hopes to cover sports back in his hometown after college. Laissez les bons temps rouler!